VSO Tools

Benefits Bulletin April 2021

o Upcoming learning and development opportunities to include Spring Regional Quarterly Accreditation Training

o Legislative updates on several issues including:

    -Veteran Focused Provisions of the American Rescue Plan

    -SAVE LIVES Act That Allows VA to Vaccinate All Veterans, Spouses and Caregivers

o Nashville Regional Office resumes pre-determination hearings

o NVLSP representation and success update

Benefits Bulletin May 2021

o Upcoming learning and development opportunities to include Spring Regional Quarterly Accreditation Training

o VA updates on several issues including:

    -Expanding Eligibility and Access to VA Home Loan Program

    -Application information for Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP)

o Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans & Nehmer Special Review

o Tips for How VSO's Can Assist VA in Expediting Compensation and Pension (C&P) Examinations

Benefits Bulletin June 2021

o Upcoming learning and development opportunities to include Quarterly Accreditation Training

o  Veteran Benefits updates on several issues including:

           - Extention of time for transitioning servicemembers to apply for Veterans' Group Life Insurance

           - Extention of judicial review to adverse decisions made by VA's Program of Comprehesive Assistance for Family Caregiver.

o Tip for How VSOs Can Use VBMS to Track VA Claims Development

Benefits Bulletin July 2021

o Upcoming learning and development opportunities to include Quarterly Accreditation Training

o Veteran Benefit updates on several issues including:

            -Discharge Status Reviews for Post-9/11 Veterans

            - Overview of VHA's Administrative Review Process

            - Ensuring availability of judicial review to adverse decisions made by VA's Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

o Tips for How VSOs Can Use Partial Rating Decisions to Speed the Delivery of Benefits

Benefits Bulletin August 2021

o Veteran Benefits updates on several issues including:

            - VA Assistance to Help Avoid Eviction

            - Presumptive Service Connection for Respiratory Conditions for Gulf War Veterans

o Quality Review Highlights including:

            - Lack of Veteran or Claimants Signatures

            - Do Not Package Intent to File and Application for Benefits on the Same Day

o Fact Sheet on New and Examded Benefits Designated to Suport Veterans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    

Benefits Bulletin September 2021

o Tennessee Housing Development Agency Rent Relief and Utility Assistance

o Veterans Benefits updates on several issues including:

            - VBMS Update Release Notes-POA Electronic Notification

            - Pension Management Center Updates:

                    -Template Incompetency Notice Response

                    - Template Attendant Affidavit

o Quality Review Highlights including: 

             - Lack of Veteran or Claimant Signature

o Publication of VA's 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans,  Dependents and Survivors

Benefits Bulletin October 2021

o VA and Veteran Benefit Updates

       -Final Rule

                  -Schedule for Ratiings Disabilities; The Genitourinary Diseases and Conditions

                  - Schedule for Rating Disabilities: The Cardiovascular System 

                  - Extention of the Presumptive Period for Compensation for Persian Gulf War Veterans

         -Proposed Rule

                   - Fiduciary Bonding Requirements

        -Intrim Final Rule

                   -Extention of Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Elegibility for Legacy Participants and Legacy Applicants

          -Annual Cost of Living Adjustment

         - Debt Collection & Debt Relief

         - New Veterans Benefits Guide

o Quality Review Insights

           -Lack of Veterans or Claimants Signature

           -What Forms can a representative sign?

o Practice Like a Pro

            -VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities Update

o Advocate Spotlight

            -Disagreeing with a VA Decision

Benefits Bulletin November 2021

o    TDVS Training Schedule Through End of Calendar Year

       - Annual Examination - Friday, November 19th OR Monday, November 22nd

       - December Lunch and Learn - Caseflow

                   -NEW - TDVS will make time and have team members available to answer questions and discuss topics from the benefits bulletin at each future lunch and learn opportunity.

o   VA Regulatory Updates to include a change that allows VA to accept uncertified copies of service documents as evidence of military service.

o   Quality Review Highlights including -

         - Practice Tip to Ensure TDVS Representation During Informal Conferences

         - Lack of Veteran or Claiment Signature

o Introduction to Legal Aid Resources Across Tennessee

o County Partner's Life Changing Advocacy on Behalf of a Surviving Spouce of a Vietnam Veteran

Benefits Bulletin December 2021

o   TDVS Training Schedule for 2022

o    How You Can Participate in VA's Claim Accuracy Request (CAR) Pilot (Fact Sheet and Job Aid attached)

o    VA & Veteran Benefits Updates to Include

       -Update on VA Mail Delays

       - New Benefit Rate Tables

       - Pension Management Center Updates

o    Practice Like a Pro Tips

        - Caregiver Program Appeals

        - Application of Intent to File to Supplemental Claims

Benefits Bulletin January 2022

o February Lunch & Learn - Preparation of the Eligibility Verification Report (EVR) and Medical Expense Report Form

o VA & Veteran Benefit Updates to Include:

      o Regulatory Updates

            - Proposed Rule to Update VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities - Digestive System and Proposed Rule to Eliminate Copays for Veterans identified as High Risk for Suicide

            - Information on DoD's Atomic Veterans Service Certificate Program

o Practice Like a Pro Tip

      - TDVS Fact Sheet - NPRC Delays & Tools and Resources Available to Support Military Record Requests

      - Advocacy Tips

            - Minimize Adjudication Delays - Scan Documents Separately into VetraSpec

            - Survivor Power of Attorney - Why Can't I access the record?

Benefits Bulletin February 2022

o March Lunch & Learn - VA S.A.V.E., A Review of General Suicide Prevention Efforts, March 9, 2022

o REQUIRED TRAINING ***SAVE THE DATE*** -Spring Quartery Regional Training, April 6, 2022

o VA & Veteran Benefit Updates to Include:

    -Regulatory Updates

          -Final Rule - Threshold for Reporting VA Debts to Consumer Reporting Agencies

    -VA's Debt Management Center Updates

o Practice Like a Pro Tips

    -Ready for Decision

    -Advocacy Tips

          -Using SHARE to find retired pay amounts

          -Reviewing your work        

Benefits Bulletin March 2022

o REQUIRED TRAINING - Spring Quarterly Regional Training, April 6, 2022, From 9 - 12pm CST

o Training and Resources in Support of Tennessee's Efforts to Prevent Suicide Among Servicemembers, Veterans and Their Families

o VA & Veteran Benefits Updates to Include:

          o Regulatory Updates

                     o Proposed Rules - Schedule for Rating Disabilities; Mental Disorders; Ear, Nose, Throat, and Audiology Disabilities; Special Provisions Regarding Evaluation of Respiratory Conditions; Respiratory System

                      o Mail Delays and Extention of Timeframes to Respond to VA Notification Letter

          o VA Release indicating it will propose adding several rare cancers to the presumed service-connected list as related to military enviroment exposure

o Practice Like a Pro Tips

          o Another Tool to Combat National Personal Records Center Delays

          o Advocacy Tips

                   o Best Way to File an Intent to File or VA Form 21-0966 for Both Compensation and Pension

                    Using VetraSpec's My Task Organizational/Reminder Tool

    TDVS Benefits Bulletins are posted on the VSO Tools portion of the TDVS's Website

Benefits Bulletin April 2022

o  TDVS Training Updates

April Initial Accreditation Training, April 18th - April 22nd, 2022. 

May Lunch & Learn, May 11, 2022, 11:30 to 12:30 CST.  VHA Homeless Programs in Tennessee.  

o VA & Veteran Benefit Updates to Include

     - Regulatory Update

     - Take Advantage of Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) Before December 2022

o Practice Like a Pro Tips

     - VA Form 10182 Deep Dives

     - Let's Talk About Private Medical Evidence

     - What's New in the MArch 2022 VA Form 10182 (Decision Review Request: Board Appeal (Notice of Disagreement)

o Advicate Spotlight

     - Identifying and Obtaining the Evidence Necessary to Win a Claim       

 

Benefits Bulletin May 2022

o TDVS Updates

- June Lunch and Learn, June 8, 2022, 11:30 to 12:30 CST TBD

- SAVE THE DATE - Annual Conference, September 26-28th, Montgomery Bell State Park

- Tennessee Legislative Update - Death Certificates for Veterans

- VetraSpec Updates and Maintenance

o VA & Veteran Benefit Updates to Include

- Regulatory Updates

        -Presumptive Service Connection for Rare Respiratory Cancers Due to Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter

- VA Self Service Tools

o Practice Like a Pro Tips

- Back to Basics

          -The Role of an Advocate

o Advocate Spotlight

- Back to Basics